June 29, 2006

Been Dreaming of Sewing

and not doing any actual sewing. I can literally see myself wearing the jean skirt with the cute border of embroidery. The embroidery has a scalloped edge and the plan is to fray check it and then trim the fabric away. No need to hem and a cute finish to boot! I also want a white skirt. I have the fabric and pattern. Everything is assembled, just need to get to it. One good thing to come from the curtain making is that the top of my cutting table is visible again. This week I have been knitting in the evenings. One of my friends is renting a table at a Dog Fundraiser this summer and asked if a couple of us would knit sweaters for her to sell. All proceeds to be donated to the local shelter. This is a cause that is dear to my heart. So, handknit dog sweaters it has been. I have 2 complete and the 3rd is close. I also made two cotton warshrags with an 'embossed' paw print. Tomorrow, I am meeting my virtual friend Jessica and her 2 dogs. I am so excited. We will be meeting up at the dog park so the 4-legged kids can run. Everyone please pray that Beau behaves himself. Please. Last night I took Lucy in the convertible and we went to get more dog food. She did well, but she really can't get comfortable in the car. At one point, we were stopped for a light and she put her pouty face right down on the edge of the door. It was priceless. I would have given just about anything to be in the next car over and take a picture. So, there has been some discussion around my blog world about teaching kids to sew. The Musical One wanted to learn to quilt when she was in 8th grade. She was in a geometry class and was looking for an interesting extra credit project. They needed something that was flat, but looked 3-dimensional. So, tumbling blocks it was. She chose the fabrics, did all the cutting and sewing and made a piece of fabric too small for a lap quilt, but large enough to cut 4 placemats from. She hasn't touched fabric since then, except to say that's cute or if you made a skirt/top/whatever from it, I'd wear it. The Princess loves textiles. She loves the picking out, touching, planning, matching stages, but she hates cutting and finds it much easier to do all the early work and let mom do the actual construction. She is exploring a career in Interior Design and has asked for her own sewing machine. Following are photos of the knitting bag that I made as a birthday gift for Jessica, my virtual WW dog walking friend, the one I'm meeting tomorrow. The photo on the left is the inside of the bag, showing all the pockets I added. I used the alphabet function on my machine to label to contents. On the right is the bag. It is currently filled with stuff for knitting, including the needle roll. The fabric is quilting cotton from the local big box fabric hell store. Has a lavender background with various singing dogs and says "American Fido" all over it. The hot pink handles and lining match the pink in the print. This is a picture of the rolled needle roll. I used the instructions in the holiday issue of Sew News and the truth is, I'm not happy with it. I think it's too big. Jessica will be receiving both of these items when she comes for dinner tomorrow night. I hope she likes them. More tomorrow and maybe even photos of crazy dog play. Can you imagine - 2 bloodhounds, 2 basset hounds, and 2 vizslas all running full tilt? It will be side splittingly funny.

June 27, 2006

Musings & Ramblings

I don't know what blogs you all follow, but there are several I love. Because I truly enjoy and stalk those blogs, I asked The Musical One to add them to my sidebar, which she so nicely did. I need to have her add a few more :) Anyway - Carolyn asked what helps you get your sewing mojo back. A few days ago Lisa posted about both of her grandma's and learning to sew. All of this has had me thinking for the last couple of days. To top that off, Kerstin has just made a new 'comforting' blanket which is beautiful! The brain has been spinning full tilt! I'm not sure I can string a coherent sentence together. So, let's start at the beginning. My only Grandmother taught me to do all things crafty at about the ripe old age of 8. I remember crocheting bell bottoms for barbie. Making up the pattern as I went along. I can crochet, knit & sew. I learned to tat within the last 10 years. I have made doilies, knit tons of sweaters and made lots of garments. Grandma, however, didn't teach me everything she knew, it wasn't until 10-12 years ago that I learned to match plaid (I know, I'm sure she was rolling over too). I clearly and vividly remember my Aunt purchasing dresses from Nordstroms, literally traipsing through the living room of Grandma's house and then returning the dress. My Aunt would have a "Kelly Original" (that's what the tag said!) within a week of returning the dress. Grandma didn't teach me that, either. Grandma did teach me to love creating, crafting and making original items. I am the only one of my siblings who does anything remotely crafty. I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment, operating the foot control with my knee to make summer dresses just after I got out of high school. I made many a party dress for my younger sister who doesn't sew. My first experience with nap was when I made a pair of grey corduroy pants for my younger brother - yep, pockets and pants legs all had a different nap. He liked them though and wore them until he outgrew the pants of different colors. After I got married, I sewed sporadically and when the kids needed something. Generally at the beginning of summer, the beginning of the school year, Christmas & Easter. When the girls were small, I really began knitting more than sewing, it was so much more portable and we lived in England. Truly everyone knitted. After getting married for the last time and purchasing a new house, I finally upgraded my sewing machine, bought my first serger and set up a dedicated area of the house to my craft. It was beautiful. I began sewing daily. Craft items and clothing. While I enjoy the occasional craft project thrown into the mix, my true love has always been garment construction. I have learned lots in just the last 10 years or so, the importance of making a muslin, how to read some drag lines, altering patterns to get a better fit, as well as construction methods to eliminate the 'loving hands at home' appearance. Anyway - Carolyn asked what inspires you to sew. I have been thinking about that since reading her post. Currently, I can't stop thinking about the stuff I would rather be doing, but I'm not whining about the curtains again. So, a dreaded project inspires me. Get it done with so I can move onto the fun stuff. Making something useful. Making needed items. I loved making both of the girls' prom dresses. Presently The Princess is on a cruise and she took her prom dress with her for formal nights. Feels great to know that she likes the dress enough to (a) keep it and (b) wear it after the fact. Kerstin is knitting for others. This is something that moves me, rings a bell somewhere, I don't know, I can't even begin to explain it. Somehow it seems to very important to knit silly little squares and mail them off to someone I don't know and will never meet. Somehow it touches a little part of me and others who ask what I'm knitting while I sit at Applebee's with JB. It's important. It's easy and makes such a difference. I guess this truly was a rambling post.

June 25, 2006

Minor Curtain Update

Sunday, the dogs woke me early. 7:30 after being up until 1 visiting with JB late poker buddies. The ones I like :) Anyway. I was kinda sad and feeling down. Youngest daughter left yesterday to take a cruise, she was sad to be going, which made me sad. She called at 5:45 a.m. to tell about her first flight - which was rough, but I missed the call. Around noon, JB and I ate breakfast by the pond. After cleaning up, we bathed the big dogs in the front yard and then took them for a long walk. The dog store was out of sunglasses for dogs! Boy was it hot. We are all feeling the effects of a long walk in the heat today. I took a little nap, then started ironing the curtain fabric. I have 5 of the 6 pieces for the bay window ripped to length. Now, I need to start ironing again. 7 more pieces to rip to length, then onto the lining. Someday this will be done and I'll be sick of the curtains already :) Hope everyone had a great sewing weekend.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Somehow I managed to spout my mouth off and tell JB that the curtains would be made by tonight. I can honestly say that the fabric still looks like this: (imagine seeing three large pieces of fabric folded - not sewn into curtains). As an aside - I finally figured out how to the pictures out of the digital camera, but for some reason I cannot load them to blogger or yahoo or any other website from my home computer. I end up emailing them to myself at work and adding pictures there! Lame. Time to get the computer fixed. I did however make the executive decision about hardware last night and determine how much length the rings I wanted to use would lower the overall curtains. Also currently on the sewing table: several great pieces of fabric that crying out to a summer work wardrobe. I know myself well enough to know that if I skip over the curtains it will be months before they are done and that isn't a good use of funds :) So, curtains it is - tomorrow :) Had a doctor's appointment this morning to get the results of the blood test from h#ll, only to find out that he didn't have the results. It would appear that the lab messed up. They did send the insulin levels which are fine - but nothing else. What a waste of prime sewing time this morning. Meanwhile, I still continue to suffer with 'dizzyhead.' Don't know what's causing it or how to treat it. Should I eat more? Maybe more often? Differently? Hard to tell since we don't know what anything is doing. Oh, and to top it all off - I'm sick and have been since Tuesday. I feel like poop! Hasn't been a good week. Tomorrow somebody promised to take Lucy for a long walk to the local pet store to purchase doggy goggles so she can ride in the convertible. I promise pictures of that!!!!

June 21, 2006

I Don't Know Why

Tuesday morning at home I tried to download the photos from the digital camera. This morning I tried again. Success! There are some pictures of the dogs - but I also got crafting content. While nothing much has been going on in the sewing room - don't really know how I'm going to turn 88 yards of fabric and 26 yards of header tape into curtains for 3 windows by Saturday and work all week, so I've been avoiding it. I haven't even ironed the fabric yet!!! How lame is that. To top it off, I'm now sick. What started out as allergy symptoms has turning into a honking sore throat - it hurts to swallow and talk. Well, as soon as someone competent enough to answer the phone gets into the office today I'm going home. I'm just killing time waiting for them to show up anyway. This is the pink sweater that I have been working on. I am happy to report that it is now finished. I have tried it on and it fits! Oh happy day. After having lost so much weight I often have body image issues and make things that are way too big. Especially knits. Hopefully this will pass. Just need to steam this sweater and then it can wait patiently until Fall to be seen in public. This little beauty is a summer sweater. What you are looking at here is the beginning of the back. I had originally bought Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca in a bright Lime Green to knit this puppy up, the resulting K2P2 rib was just too soft. Lime green is awaiting a more suitable pattern and JB and I took a trip to the local yarn store where we picked up this Tahki Cotton Classic. Was a dream to knit. Last night while sitting on the couch, trying not to wine too much because my throat hurt, I finished the neckband edging. Now, to stitch the side seams and steam this little guy. I think I have some cute fabric to make a skirt to wear with it. Anything to put off making curtains.

June 19, 2006

More Dog/Space Filler Information

Above is a picture of a Caucasion Mountain Dog. Our new back door neighbors have this breed. Their dog is 250+#, 7 years old and scary! I have to keep reminding Abby that she is snack sized for this dog :) We talked with the owner last night, apparently, he is friendly with other dogs - it's people he takes exception to. I'm slightly disturbed about this dog being in our neighborhood, where people still let their kids and dogs run free on occassion. The owner said often when his dog sees something it wants, he has to look for a stop sign or tree to wrap the leash around in order to stop the dog. See why I'm frightened?

Okay, so tonight is the second episode of The Closer. Last week was very good. I also got sucked into watching Saved. Tonight I plan on watching downstairs, I have to start ironing the fabric for the curtains. I also need to do a clean up on the computer and try to load some photos. I'm sure anyone still reading is as bored as I am with the lack of sewing content.

Happy sewing :)

June 18, 2006

Still haven't figured out the camera

So, Saturday dawned grey and gloomy. I loaded 2 rolls of fabric and some detergent into the jeep, placing fabric strategically around dog hair. Stopped and filled 2 super load washers at the local laundromat. Then I headed to the local yarn store, where I was able to exchange a circular needle that I bought on my way to the lengthy blood test, but in my haste, I picked up the wrong size - sure was glad I had another knitting project with me while sitting the hospital for hours. I also picked up 2 hanks of Cascade 220 in pinks to make a tea cozy for the Princess. She'll need one once she moves out. Then it was off to Costco. Not sure what I bought but the car was loaded down! Back to the laundromat to put the yardage into the dryers. We then walked to Taco Bell for lunch - nutritious! NOT!!! Sent the Princess home to drop off the food. I was finished wrestling yards of fabric by the time she got back. So, home it was. After that I spent the next 3 hours cleaning house. Upon ariving in the sewing room I found JB sitting at this very computer playing poker and watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. So, I started dinner - much healthier than lunch and finished the paisley skirt from last week. Just need to finish off the top, iron the curtain fabric and get busy. I promised somebody curtains before his poker buddies arrive next Saturday night! What was I thinking????

June 16, 2006

I haven't got much left

After having been extremely stressed out at work all week. Today I had to have a fasting blood test. The doctor wanted a 3 hour post glucose draw - that meant drinking the nasty sugar water - they haven't managed to make it taste any better since I had my last child (The Princess) 20 years ago!!! There was a problem on my lab papers, so I ended waiting to start for an hour while I tried to get ahold of the good doctor. Suffice it to say I spent the entire day in the hospital getting poked with needles! I have the beginning on a killer migraine. JB is home from work now, and he wants to walk the dogs and go out to dinner - I'd be happy to stay home and go to bed :) But dog walking and dinner it will be. I'm off to take excederin migrain!

June 14, 2006

In an Attempt

to continue with daily updates. Yesterday there was a large, very large, box waiting in the entry way when I got home last night. You see I finally ordered all 46 yards of fabric for the curtains. Of course I also had to order the lining. This time, however, I didn't sneak any little treats in for me. Friday I plan on dropping the yardage off at a laundromat that has staff so they can prewash the yardage while I have my sucky long fasting blood draw done. In hopes that I can pick it up on my way home from the clinic, I will also stop by either JoAnns or Hancocks to the get the header tape. Fabric.com didn't have the tape I wanted. So, clothing gets set aside for curtains. I am, however, through promising to post photos.

June 13, 2006

Dog Walking Story

Well in answer to yesterday's question, I had multiple comments (2 - yea!) people who aren't my family are reading my blog - makes a girl feel good. Anyway - I guess the answer is that I am NOT the only one who feels a little disappointed when there aren't daily updates. Life has been super busy at work, and at home. So, I have precious little to share. Add to that the fact that the computer is slower than molasses and the pictures are still stuck in the camera and you have nothing of value to contribute. That would be Beau kissing the Princess in the new kitchen. So, I thought I'd charm you with a little story of just how silly my bloodhounds can be. Got home last night and the weather was nice, very humid, but not raining and not too hot. So, JB gets the hounds - all of them - excited about taking a walk. Silly man. We can't walk 4 dogs at once - they go different speeds :) Anyway - we put necklaces (their pinch collars) on Beau & Lucy, fasten leashes on and head out the door. Our street has ditches. Well the house at the top of our street doesn't maitain their property at all. It's a rental and they don't care. Their yard has a substantial slope and the grass in the ditch is as tall as the grass on the lawn. So, Beau walks in the ditch for a few feet, then climbs into their yard, lifts his leg on a tree branch that fell last Winter and starts to come back to the street. He misjudges the ditch when he jumps and literally face planted into the side of the ditch! Poor boy - it was funny. But funnier still was the look on his face. He was so embarassed that we saw him fall! We no sooner got home and got all the dogs in the house when the heavens opened up last night and it started raining. So, the short dogs got no walking done. They always get the short end of the stick. I'll leave you with a picture of Lucy, she's 'shaking' with the Princess and wondering why she isn't getting a cookie for it.

June 12, 2006

Daily Blogging?

Is daily blogging overrated? Are there certain blogs that you 'stalk' just to see what your favorite knitter, seamstress, etc is up to? Are you just the tiniest bit sad when their blog hasn't been updated since last week sometime? There are several blogs that I haunt daily. It's part of my morning coffee break ritual at work. I love to see photos, although truthfully, I just love to hear what they have been up to. To learn something new, to be inspired, to laugh. I wonder if my blog is doing any teaching (doubt that as I'm still learning plenty), but I might be inspiring someone or making them laugh. Thanks to all the bloggers out there that take the time to blog, create, teach, inspire and find humor. This past Saturday was my regularly scheduled ASG meeting. We worked on the layette items. I must say, that even though I didn't bring a machine to the meeting, sewing fold-over elastic wasn't as easy as it sounds. Apparently, the trick is to stretch the elastic enough that it folds and gently cups the fabric by itself. I brought home some blue and pink t-shirts to finish so I'll get to find out for myself. I started the finishing on the pink wool sweater. Got the shoulder seam sewn and the neckband finished Sunday morning. Yesterday I sewed both sleeves in and sewed one side from bottom to underarm. It's almost finished - but way to warm outside to wear right now. I also tested the picot edging for the blue cotton top. It's cute and will be relatively quick to make. I have been sidetracked by not having the right size and length of circular needle. Will try to make a pit stop at Village Yarn & Tea tonight on my way home. Before cooking dinner, I went into the sewing room and made the blue swing skirt that has been cut out for weeks. I placed a tone-on-tone decorative stitch around the seam joining the ruffle to the skirt and cut the bottom edge with the wavy rotary cutter. Turned out really cute and now I just need to find a top to wear with it. After dinner and dog walking I headed back into the sewing room. This time I worked on the paisley print knit that has also been cut out for several weeks. When I finally headed to bed at midnight! The skirt only needs a waist casing and the top needs side seams and hems. This is totally finishable in just an evening. Maybe tonight while I'm watching the season premier of The Closer. Have a great sewing week everyone.

June 4, 2006

Back to Regular Non-Wining Posting

Thursday on my way to weight watchers after work, the check engine light came on in my car. It also smelled remarkably hot and icky. So, instead of getting the new separating zipper I needed for the craft project taking up space on my table - I headed home to hand the keys off to JB. You see JB is a mechanic, he's responsible for keeping my car running properly and knew that it hadn't been running right. I was so not a happy wife! Thank goodness we have more than one car. Jumped into another, went to weight watchers where I knit throughout the meeting, picked up a zipper then headed home. Thursday night I unpicked the too short zipper so I didn't have any frogging to do on Friday. Friday dawned with lots of dark rain clouds. Since I had hurt myself lifting weights on Wednesday, I skipped my workout this morning. Hmm - think that could be why my lowest weight has crept up? After spending a good portion of the day doing housework and walking dogs - in the pouring rain, I made it to the sewing room around 2. I finished the bag and got started on the knitting roll. Now that it's finished, I can say that while it will do the job - I don't like it. It's too big. It's too long. It's too bulky. But since I don't have any more of the fabric and it's a gift, I'm sure it will do fine. I have taken picture and loaded them onto the 'puter, but I will refrain from posting them. Friday night JB and I went to Applebee's for dinner. I'm feeling like an old lady lately (at the ripe old age of 42!). Anyway, I took my knitting with me and finished up the back of the periwinkle cotton sweater. Saturday morning, I cast on for the front, had some productive knitting time in the car and got all 48 rows of K2P2 Ribbing done. I am now stockinetting my way up the front. Since drafting the post on Sunday - I have finished the front and both sleeves. Now for the sewing up and finishing parts. Hope everyone has a productive sewing day. This post was drafted on Sunday, June 4th. I actually took photos which are still being held captive on the digital camera. Is blogging without photos any fun?

June 1, 2006

June Already?

I can't believe that it is June already. I'm not sure how I did on my May goals. I'll have to review them and get back to you. I think one June goal has to be to figure out how to speed up my home computer and figure out the digital camera. I can do this - others do. June Sewing Goals: --sew blue swing skirt --sew paisley print pieces - skirt and santa monica tee --cut and sew forest print skirt, decide between S7229 or KS3098 skirt patterns --cut and sew pink knit into S4669 top VA --cut and sew lined white eyelett skirt, decide between S5914 or NL6461 June Knitting Goas: --seam the Pink Wool Ease Sweater and finish the neckline --continue working on the 'short sleeve top' from Knit Simple spring/summer 2006 . This is being knit out of cotton, in a pretty shade of tourquise. Current status, back ribbing done. Back and front to be complete by end of the month. Okay so let's just take a little look at those May Goals, shall we? * finish print jean jacket - cut, interfaced and ready to sew. What's the hold up? This is still in the same state. Well, I have recut the jacket a size smaller and with the front seam pockets per Gigi's article in Threads. *I need new skirts, decide on 3 styles/patterns and find fabric in the stash. I think this counts as finished. I picked 3 pieces of fabric, three different patterns and actually got one of the skirts sewn and warn. *Finish sleeves of Wool-Ease sweater currently on the needles, and sew up. Both sleeves are complete, but no sewing has happened as of yet. *Beau bag. nada *Knitting bag and needle roll x 2. I'm only working on one set of these right now. But both the bag and the needle roll are cut. The pockets are embroidered and sewn into the lining. I need to purchase a longer zipper and hope to work on it tonight. *Dog print tote bag. Have everything ready to go, it's taking up space on the cutting table currently. So the answer is technically no. *couple of dog bears from fake fur. No. The dogs got some new toys and don't need bears right now :) Guess I better get off the computer and head straight into the sewing room - looks like I have a little bit to get done :> Happy Sewing Everyone!!
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